Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Raising water levels to revert arable land to grazing marsh at Berney Marshes RSPB Reserve, Norfolk, England

Published source details

Lyons G. & Ausden M. (2005) Raising water levels to revert arable land to grazing marsh at Berney Marshes RSPB Reserve, Norfolk, England. Conservation Evidence, 2, 47-49


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Restore or create traditional water meadows Bird Conservation

A study on 84 ha of former arable land adjoining Berney Marshes RSPB Reserve, Norfolk, England (Lyons & Ausden 2005), found that breeding wader numbers increased after the land was restored to grazing marsh: 15-20 pairs of northern lapwing and 5-10 pairs of common redshank were found on the marsh, depending on year. The fields were regularly used for foraging by a large proportion of the estimated 100,000 wintering waterfowl (e.g. Eurasian wigeon Anas penelope) using the reserve. The fields were acquired in 1998, water levels were raised, foot drains were added, and grazing by sheep (and then cattle) was introduced. By 2003, plant communities had shifted towards those characteristic of lowland wet grassland.

 

Restore or create traditional water meadows Farmland Conservation

A study in 84 ha of arable land adjoining Berney Marshes RSPB Reserve, Norfolk, England, describes their restoration to grazing marsh (Lyons & Ausden 2005). The fields were acquired in 1998, water levels were raised, foot drains were added, and grazing by sheep (and then cattle) was introduced. By 2003, plant communities had shifted towards those characteristic of lowland wet grassland. Breeding wading bird numbers increased, with 15-20 pairs of northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus and 5-10 pairs of common redshank Tringa totanus (depending on year). The fields are regularly used for foraging by a large proportion of the estimated 100,000 wintering waterfowl (e.g. Eurasian wigeon Anas penelope) now using the reserve.